TREVOR JONES X ICE CUBE
DON’T SAY SH*T – OPEN EDITION
AI was trained on images of my four paintings along with a library of photographs of Ice Cube and other relevant objects such as AK-47s, speakers, pens and pencils. Although the AI algorithms are manually adjusted it’s the computer’s ‘brain’ that sifts through the extensive amounts of visual information and forms its own interpretations.
I was intrigued with each of the experiments produced however, to me it seemed there was something of a dark, even sinister feel to them. Strangely, even though the visual compilations appeared warped and corrupted I saw a beauty in this darkness; nevertheless, I felt I had very little control over the machine’s ‘creative’ conclusions and in the end AI was the one making the decisions.
In fact, these unpredictable results of the AI algorithms added to and strengthened the artwork and the narrative in particular, as previously mentioned in the collaboration introduction and Blade Runner reference:
“The line between benefit and hazard (with our ever-increasing relationship with technology ) can be quite indistinguishable and the indifference of technology can make it both benefit and hazard.
Although the AI produced interesting results, I felt it was lacking with regards to the human capacity for creative thinking and storytelling. I concluded that even though the technology created the basis for the artwork, ironically, it would also become the main antagonist in the narrative. Perhaps this was my own human insecurity compelling me to take control, afraid that if I continued down this entirely computer-generated path, I would eventually become the servant and the machine, my master.
Nevertheless, I felt the artist’s hand and the human touch was missing, which is why I decided to further edit and alter the AI video in post-production. The human process was extended to add other elements such as the warped AI Cube wearing his LA baseball hat. I taped his mouth shut.
‘Don’t say shit’
A smoking gun was added as were twitter birds, the Facebook logo, and the blue and red flashing police lights across a manually edited snarling Cube. Morphing software was used in parts to create a more visually appealing transition that synced better with the music. Lastly, the sinister hooded figure that the AI algorithms created from the initial library of images was forced to make two appearances. I don’t know how this dark figure was developed or why the machine’s mind created it, but as soon as I saw it, I knew that it was going to play an important role in the work… albeit a silent one. X